Monday, September 27, 2010

Emotions and the Wisdom of God

The majesty of the mountains and the beauty of the oceans are obvious. God’s creation is breathtaking. The gentle rains that bring peace and the torrential storms that drive fear through our very being create emotions that reach our very core.

So is there purpose in emotion? I believe there is a theme in the Bible with respect to emotion.

The Old Testament starts off showing a God banishing Adam and Eve for eating fruit from the one tree they were forbidden to eat. Throughout the Old Testament, shades of a vengeful, wrath-filled God—a punishing God—permeate the text. Only in Psalms and Song of Songs do we get an inkling of a God that shows mercy and love.
Why the change? I believe it has to do with human’s “evolution” of understanding God.

In the Old Testament, especially in the beginning of Genesis, humanity is regarded as young children, seeing only the need for discipline, as with Adam and Eve. Slowly, the human mind opened. Abraham was the first to call God, “Father,” and the Creator recognized this and made a covenant with humanity.

As the authors produced Psalms and Song of Songs, humankind grew into the age of reason. With that reason, came the realization that our God could be in relationship with us and we longed for that connection.

But we were missing something. Because of our selfishness, we couldn’t see past our teenage needs. Not until the Father sent his Son, not until we saw the Incarnation, did we see true Love. We needed to hear the words of hope and salvation, and like all teens, we then understood life had meaning. Jesus brought definition to what was deep in our hearts that we could not express.

As with the crossing of the threshold from youth to adulthood, humanity couldn’t take the next step until we experienced true sacrifice. Jesus proclaimed this sacrifice by stretching out his arms on the cross encompassing the whole world, and that action thrust us into maturity.

It’s not that God changed from a fearful God to a loving God, it’s that we grew up.
With adulthood comes responsibility. Whether we choose to fall into his crucified arms or we choose to turn away, it’s up to us. When we feel broken and damaged, it is up to us to recognize the ultimate Love and accept it.

I believe that there’s a reason that Revelations is the last book of the Bible. It takes to completion the concept of God’s saving plan for us by revealing that there is something else, something besides this life. God revealed his entire plan, His entire set of emotions, His love for us from infancy to adulthood. Now it’s up to us.

He calls us in the words of Paul in 1 Corinthians with the definition of love and He proved that love at Calvary. He is a loving parent waiting for us to fall into His arms with everything we have, all the love and all the hurts, because truly He is the only one that can love us completely.

Emotions matter and only Love can save us.

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